In the Jewish Museum’s latest major exhibition, Emmanuel Santos and Carol Gordon show us the history, tradition and present-day existence of the Jews of Greece.
Through photography and documentary, Santos and Gordon reveal a people dating back to approximately 300-250 BCE, who witnessed, experienced, and influenced world history.
The exhibition celebrates this ancient community, who despite facing almost total decimation in the Holocaust, have continued to survive.
In 1986, Gordon began research into the history of Greek Jews after discovering that their ancient and long history was hardly known.
Ms Gordon has always felt a strong connection to Greece and the Greek people.
She says: “I became passionate about bringing this story out of the dark, in honour of 87 per cent of the Jewish population of Greece who were murdered in the Holocaust.
“As a practising Jew, this project has affirmed my belief that Jewish culture has a common core among a variety of cultures and traditions”.
In 2013, Gordon invited Melbourne photographer Emmanuel Santos to join her in Greece, to help uncover and document this remarkable community.
For Santos, who has forged a career investigating Jewish culture and ritual, this was a thrilling undertaking.
“It was a very interesting project due to the fact that it owes its history dating back to Hellenistic Greece,” says the acclaimed photographer.
“This was an alluring prospect for me as I had never come across any remnants of a Jewish community this ancient.”
Objects from the Ian Potter Museum of Art Collection also illuminate this history, and video interviews within the exhibition present the testimonies of survival and rebuilding of the Greek Jewish communities after the Holocaust.
‘The Jews of Greece’ exhibition runs from 2 April – 3 September at the Jewish Museum of Australia, 26 Alma Road, St Kilda, VIC.
Admission: adults $10, children up to 5 years free, 6 years and up $5, concession $5, and family tickets $20.
For opening hours and more information head to www.jewishmuseum.com.au